Bringing Back Wild Salmon

Photos and Video Recording by Kyle Smith, Washington Forest Manager
Video by Cailin Mackenzie, Globe Intern
Narration by Lauren Miheli, Volunteer Coordinator

The Nature Conservancy worked with the Quinault Indian Nation and other partners to install six engineered log jams on a tributary of the Clearwater River. Kyle Smith, our Forest Manager, relocated fish from the stream to protect them during construction. In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, many northwest streams were completely logged – log jams restore the woody debris salmon need. This project helps reach our restoration goals for the nearly 10,000 acres of Olympic land and water we protect.



Electrofishing helps protect salmon

Written and photographed by Kyle Smith, Washington Forest Manager

The Nature Conservancy is partnering with the Quinault Indian Nation to install six engineered logjams on a tributary of the Clearwater River. Engineered logjams simultaneously enhance riparian habitat and manage erosion by introducing large woody debris to stabilize banks.

Last week, I worked with Quinault staff to prepare the site by removing fish from the stream and installing temporary exclusion barriers to keep fish out of the channel during construction.

In the photo above, Dwayne Bighead (right) of the Quinault Indian Nation is sending electric currents underwater to momentarily stun Coho salmon and bring them to the water surface, a technique called electrofishing. William Armstrong (left) and Adam Rehfeld (center) assist with collecting fish.

The logjam installation, which began this week, is part of a larger long-term restoration plan for our conserved land in Jefferson County to improve aquatic and terrestrial habitat. The Nature Conservancy depends on invaluable partnerships with indigenous communities like the Quinault to maximize our efficacy.